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Salisu Closing In ! But Still Not Fit
Saturday, 21st Nov 2020 08:50

Ralph Hasenhuttl has spoken about Mohammed Salisu and given an update on the defender's progress, but there is still no real information on what the "Other Issues" are, that are keeping him from making his debut.

Mohammed Salisu has been pictured in training with Saints now for at least a month, but he is still no nearer being in contention for a place in the squad.

Strangely since his signing over three months ago now there has been little official news on Salisu, not even the token picture of his holding the shirt to announce his arrival.

We all knew that he was injured when he arrived, anyone could have looked that up online and seen he missed the last few games of the season in Spain, we knew that missing pre season training due to not only injury but the need to quarantine would mean that he would struggle to be fit until October, but as the situation drags on with no real explanations given, Saints fans are wondering what is happening.

Ralph Hasenhuttl had this to say yesterday.

"He was training all the time with us and is doing more and more duels and everything," said Hasenhuttl.

"We must have a look to see how his body reacts now. There is still a way to go, I think, for being match fit.

"But I am very keen that he was, for at minimum two weeks now, a part of the sessions."

"He is a calm guy and is physically a very strong guy who shows, on the ball, the calmness we need to bring the decision making.

"He is still learning what we want to do here. It is not so easy as how we defend is not easy.

"I am happy he is here. He is a long term project and I am sure he will play a lot of games for Southampton."

These are fine words from Ralph, but to be blunt they are almost identical to the update he gave a month ago ahead of the game against Everton and that in itself was an update on the managers comments back in September when he said that Salisu would be fit to play after the October International break.

Ralph says he has been part of the sessions for two weeks, but the truth is has appeared in pictures of the training sessions for a lot longer than that.

Given that Salisu's original injury was a muscle pull sustained over 4 months ago now and he has been able to train for at least two of those months as confirmed by Ralph when he gave his prediction of an October comeback as well as pictures on the club website, why is he still not fit and played any games in the B side to get him match fit.

What are the "other issues" that keep being mentioned but never explained ?

The club need to get a hold on the situation and be pro active with it, it may be the right thing to do to keep the Other issues private and behind closed doors, but that doesn't mean that the club cannot keep fans informed.

Why have their been no interviews with the player on the club official website ? An injury should not stop the club media speaking to the player and let the fans know a little more about him both as a player and as a person.

The fact that it is left to Ralph to just repeat himself once a month without really giving any details, only heightens the suspicion of the fans and let's be honest we like a good conspiracy theory down here when it comes to Southampton Football Club.

So why haven't the club nailed this one down and stopped rumours before they can start, two months ago the rumour mongerers were stopped in their tracks, even last month's update seemed plausible, but now to find he is no nearer, despite having seen him training will start the tongus wagging.

Yes this article will not help in this point, but I have been reasonable and managed expectations in my own monthly comment, but now I am starting to wonder what is going on and what are the "Other Issues" that keep being slipped into Ralph's own comments, when really there is no reason to mention them.

Photo: Action Images

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derbydog added 09:11 - Nov 21
OK then let’s start the speculation. Three possible issues: work permit problems? Not likely as his signing was announced as a done deal. Medical issues not related to football injuries? Possible, particularly given the silence which could be down to confidentiality requirements. Or suspension either by the club or the FA which is why we haven’t seen him with the B team for even half a match. Best not to speculate on what a suspension could be for.

The club could give a little bit more of a clue, unless it is the third reason...

felly1 added 09:29 - Nov 21
Maybe he's struggling to adapt to life in a new country.
21 years old. A cold, wet country in lock down and trying to adapt to a more intense environment competing with the other defenders may have come as shock to the guy.

ssxsaint added 10:04 - Nov 21

amex added 10:15 - Nov 21
He had a bad case of Covid on arrival(probably picked up in Spain) which has sapped his energy levels and is taking a long time to build up again. One of those things, not his or clubs fault.

A1079 added 11:56 - Nov 21
Completely agree with your article Nick. The club have not managed the PR side of it at all well, in fact, they have not managed it at all.

I get that there could be all sorts of reasons and they may be confidential personal to the players or whatever but to just keep saying "issues" and no real sign of being available or the nature of secrecy around his arrival all add to the sense of something more serious.

I know fans can be unforgiving at times, but if he is struggling with coming to the UK, may be suffering depression and anxiety etc or some other illness in my experience will be understanding and supportive. The club do not need to give specifics but they can word things in such a way that leaves the fans informed.

Amex could be right, but I doubt it. Why would you not say someone has long covid and yes, it would not be the clubs fault but their failure to communicate etc is.

I don't think Saints fans are prone to conspiracy theories, in fact, on the whole we are a patient bunch but some recent signings have seen our fingers seriously and expensively burnt so with the club saying nothing about Salisu just raises the suspicions that all is not well and as long as they continue not saying anything the more likely those suspicions will grow.

highfield49 added 12:40 - Nov 21
Just possibly the issues might be related to the issues revealed in this article, which implies that there are elements relating to family background and adapting to colder environments, https://www.myjoyonline.com/sports/football/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-southa Seems to unravel a bit of the mystery?

codge added 13:04 - Nov 21
They seek him here they seek him there,maybe he really doesn’t excist.

saintmark1976 added 13:10 - Nov 21
I can’t see it’s a problem Nick. Having finally obtained a settled centre half partnership in Bednarek and Vestergard with your mate Stephens in reserve, our new arrival wouldn’t get a game at the moment in any event. Unless of course he’s another one like that fellow we purchased from Scandinavia years ago who never played a game.Sorry but I can’t remember his name.

underweststand added 15:50 - Nov 21
Salisu arrived, carrying an injury apparently, and needed time to recover, get back to training then build up to the highly-demanding " Ralph fitness standard " AND get to grips with a new formation that most of the regulars are still adapting to.

Give the lad a chance. There's no panic ..and even if he were 100% physically and mentally ..WHO would you drop from the present side ?..No-one(!)... and neither would I.

a word to saints mark 1976..the Norwegian defender was Vegard Forren. thankfully only £3 million but he never played a single first team game. Who OK'd that deal I wonder?

saintmark1976 added 17:02 - Nov 21
Thanks underweststand. As you say,we can certainly find them when it comes to wasting money.

SanMarco added 22:33 - Nov 21
Perhaps he is looking for a move to the Spuds.

I think this may be the third article on this matter. We should all copy our comments so we can paste them next time.

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